Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

white flint and the other with the bald red-chaffed variety. “The flint stands fair, while the red-chaff is not worth harvesting and threshing. The flint also is considered less liable to rust.”

The Mediterranean wheat seems still to meet with favor, although some doubt whether, on its improvement by cultivation, it will be found to resist the attacks of the fly and the rust. One of the most decisive trials of its value is found in the account given in some of the agricultural journals of the experiment of Major H. Capron, of Laurel Factory, Prince George's county, Maryland, who, it is stated, made from this variety of wheat, in twenty acres of land, at the rate of forty-three bushels to the acre, when five years ago the soil would not have yielded seven bushels of oats to the acre. The blue-stem wheat distributed the past year is also considered as a valuable kind for cultivation.

The agricultural journals and reports of societies have abounded with accounts of individual crops, which show a large increase on the usual average yield. The following are a few of the interesting facts relating to the production of this grain. “Mr. J. Underwood, of the town of Middlesex, in the State of New York, cut fifty-two bushels and fifty-six pounds of wheat on one acre, selected from about thirty, which he thought would yield the same amount." Some of this seed has been sent for, to distribute from the Patent Office this winter.

Again: a specimen of white flint wheat, raised by Myron A. Adams, of East Bloomfield, New York, is mentioned, one hundred and seventy-four pounds of which produced one hundred and forty-four and a half pounds of flour, and thirty-two pounds of bran and middlings, averaging fortyeight pounds of flour to the bushel. The following is taken from the Baltimore American :

Great yield.-Weare informed that Mr. John Maught, of Middletown valley, in this State, has now growing on his farm, from a single kernel of wheat, seventy-seven perfect heads, well filled. The same gentleman has also one hundred acres of splendid wheat now fit for the sickle.

In the English papers, allusion is made to a new kind, called “ Baratta wheat,” which is said to be very prolific. A single stool or roost consisted of seven ears, each containing eighty corns; thus giving the product of five hundred and sixty from a single grain. Mention is likewise made, in a recent English paper, of a crop of wheat, the produce of two acres and one rood of ground, which, when threshed out, yielded one hundred and fiftythree bushels of the finest quality.

As showing the possible extent to which the culture of wheat may be carried, the following, extracted from an agricultural journal, deserves mention: “By planting the kernels just six inches apart each way, and feeding the plant on food containing in a soluble state all the elements necessary to build up its entire system, including the materials to form the straw as well as the berry, a gentleman in England has grown at the rate of three hundred and twenty bushels per acre.”

The editor of the American agriculturist, from whom this statement is published, says: “It has been asserted by some, and sneered at by others in this country, that 100 bushels of wheat could be easily grown upon a single acre.” It will be seen that the following little experiment in England produced at the rate of 320 bushels :

“ The imperial bushel contains 2,218.192 cubic inches; the Winchester (our common bushel) 2,150.42; the imperial bushel, therefore, is to the

ور

i

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

per acre."

ught for

.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Winchester as 1 to 0.969447. The English quarter of wheat is 8 imperial bushels of 70 pounds each, equal to 9$ American bushels of 60 pounds each.

"At the end of August, 1843, I planted in my garden 32 grains of wheat, at six inches distance, an inch and a half deep; the seed was of the firstrate quality. This seed produced this year 32 plants, having from 10 to 28 stems and ears each ; the average number of ears was 16; the average weight of each plant 14 ounce. An acre of land would contain, at six inches distance, 174,240 plants; the produce, 304,940 ounces, or nearly 19,600 pounds—320 bushels, or 40 quarters, per acre. The expense of dibbling would be more than saved by the diminished quantity of seed required. I do not mean to state that such a result would be obtained upon a large scale, but I think it is worthy of trial. When we know that the average produce is only 24 quarters per acre, and that it is possible to grow 40, it will be allowed that there is ample scope for improvement. Try a breadth in your fields an inch and a half deep; put one grain (and one only) in each hole, plant it at six or eight inches distant. Be sure to plant good seed. Get as much produce as you can, but go for 40 quarters

More attention should be paid to the culture of the wheat crop, as, owing to the land being robbed of its appropriate chemical elements by the abstraction of the straw and the grain, the soil becomes unfitted for this grain. It is stated in the report of the Farmers' Club of New York, that the quantity there has been dininished from 30 to 10 or 15 bushels per acre. The same process seems to be going on in Ohio and other Western States, and should be checked in time. Certain chemical substances are necessary for the formation of the straw and the grain, and these should be supplied if both are carried off from the land.

Some experiments have been given in the agricultural journals, also showing the importance of the drill husbandry for wheat over the broadcast method of sowing. One of the most interesting of these is that of Charles Noble ; for which, see appendix No. 4.

It will be seen that, while at least 3 pecks of seed per acre was sown, the crop also was increased 7) bushels; so that the grain was 8 bushels and 1 peck to the acre. The amount of straw also increased 12 per cent., and the amount of grain 27 per cent per acre. According to Sprengel's Analysis, it is stated that 1,000 pounds of wheat leave 11.77 pounds, and the same quantity of wheat straw leaves 35.18 pounds of ash. Of the straw ash, 23.70 are silica, without which substance it is impossible to grow either wheat or rye. Thus, it is plain that the agriculturist, though he may sell the grain, must not rob his field of the straw; and that a gain in straw (as made by Mr. Noble) is a real gain for perpetuating the fertility of his fields.

Dr. Noble's system of topdressing, in which he has been so successful, and which may be found in the Boston Cultivator, deserves to be read with attention, as it decisively proves that care only is necessary to make our crops far more valuable.

To apply manure directly to the wheat crop, it is said, is injurious, as it produces weeds, and forces the growth of the wheat, and renders it thus more liable to blight and rust.

The nutritious quality of flour has been ascertained, it is said, by a French

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

chemist; and, from several samples analyzed, he has obtained the following
results :
Nuremburg bread equals

· 100.00
Dresden
do

• 115.31 Berlin do

- 116.04 Canada flour do

- 117.23 Glasgow unfermented bread equals

- 123.15 Lothian flour equals

. 134.06 United States flour equals

- 145.03 United States flour, by chemical analysis

. 150.00 The more gluten flour contains, the more good bread a given number of pounds will furnish. A barrel of flour rich in gluten will give 10 per cent. more bread than one nearly all starch. The quantity of the meal-forming principle depends, it is stated, in a good degree, on the quantity of nitrogen in the soil on which the wheat is grown. The following facts are interest·ing, in connexion with this crop:

An acre of land, with the same labor and proportion of manure, Jacobs (Corn Law Tracts) says, will yield 300 bushels of potatoes, or 24 bushels of wheat. The food of potatoes, at 38 pounds per bushel, equals 11.4 pounds; the latter, at 60 pounds, 1.4 pounds: thus, the wheat is one-eighth of potatoes. Sir H. Davy says wheat contains three times as much mucilage, or starch, as gluten, albumen, saccharine, &c. Probably the nutricious power of wheat to potatoes is as 7 to 2, or 2 pounds to 7 pounds.

One individual, a year, consumes 480 pounds of wheat, or 1,680 potatoes.

One acre of wheat will feed 3 persons, and of potatoes nearly 7 per

[ocr errors]

sons.

The nutriciousness and palatableness of bread depend much on the method in which it is made ; and for this purpose good yeast is indispensable. The following recipe for yeast has been furnished by a baker, who has proved it abundantly. It is easily followed, as it requires no materials but such as may be obtained by every housekeeper. Were flour only well fermented when used for bread, there would be not only an actual saving of many millions of dollars, but the health and happiness of the community would be greatly advanced.

For four or five gallons of yeast, take one-quarter pound of hops; boil them until all the strength is drawn out; strain the water ; add 5 pounds of common wheat flour; stir it in while it boils; also, stir in while it is boiling or hot one-half pint of malt, ground fine. If made at night, it will be ready in the morning; and if in cool weather, or put in a cool place, the yeast will keep five or six days.

The application of wheat straw to the making of paper has been known for some years; and we find it stated in a late English paper, that the finest and the coarsest kinds can alike be made, and that the experiment was soon to be tried on a large scale, as mills had been taken to Chalford for that purpose

Should this manufacture be successful, it will only be a new proof of the indebtedness of agriculture to the mechanic arts for the varied application of its products.

BARLEY. Of the crop of barley, the information which has been received is in general very slender and indefinite. Though it has been disused as a material

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

for distillation, yet, in some parts of the country, it is becoming somewhat more cultivated, in place of rye, for the use of animals, &c.

The crop in Maine is thus characterized by one whose means of information are better than ordinary: “ The crops of barley, when cultivated, were good; but not so much was sown this year as heretofore. The reason probably was, that barley has been cultivated pretty extensively as a substitute for wheat, as it did not suffer by the weevil. Farmers, finding that this insect was not so frequent as formerly, have returned to wheat. Barley has, however, never been raised extensively in Maine before the weevil came, and little or none is shipped.

Another person, speaking of the central part of the State, north, estimates the increase to be 10 per cent. more than in 1840; while, in the southwest section, it is thought to have “decreased yearly, for five years past, from 5 to 10 per cent.'

On the whole, we believe that there was not so much raised, by 5 per cent., in Maine.

In New Hampshire, on account of the drought in the lower part of the State, east, the barley crop is thought to have fallen two-thirds from the previous year. Further towards the Connecticui, in the southwest part of the State, it is thought to have been a slight gain, perhaps 15 to 20 per cent. On the central part of the State, west, on the Connecticut river, like all the grain crops, barley is thought to have been above an average. Perhaps the increase of the crop over that of 1843 would be safely fixed at from 5 to 10 per cent.

There is not much raised in Vermont, and hence but little account is taken of it. As the season, however, was propitious for the grain crop, it is thought that there may have been a slight increase in the aggregate, of perhaps 5 per cent, or more.

In Massachusetts, in the central section of the State, there seems to have been an increase of about 10 per cent. over the crop of 1843. In the northeast part, bordering on the Atlantic,.for the last five years there has been but little barley raised, on account of a worm in the straw.

In Rhode Island and Connecticut, there is very little attention paid to this crop, and scarcely any estimate can be formed, as it occupied so small a place in the view of the farmers. Seldom is there seen there a field of even a few acres devoted to barley.

The bulk of the barley crop of the whole United States is raised in New York. Yet, even here, there are large sections of the State where little or none is cultivated. It seldom, however, is the subject of distinct notice in the agricultural papers, so that it is not easy to trace the progress of the barley crop through the season of its growth. We find a few hints, which we give. Thus we notice it in the middle and also at the end of the month of July, in western New York, as "good,” “proving better than for many years;' and in an agricultural paper for August, at New York, it is stated “ barley has come in finely, and the crop is an unusually good one. This city is the principal market, consuming annually about 20,000 bushels.”

The accounts since the harvest, also, from other sources, speak of it in the northern part of the State “as a fair average;" and, with the exception of the following, in different sections, as "an average," "about as in 1843," “ fully an average crop," "full crop," &c.

In the county of Onondaga, it is estimated at one-fourth less than the year

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

er.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

"an average crop," though in some fields the stalks were thinned out by the severity of the winter."

From the above notices we think the conclusion is warranted, that there was in the State of New York an increased crop of at least 20 per cent. over that of 1843, which it will be recollected was 10 per cent. better than the crop of 1842.

The grain, it is probable, would not compare in plumpness with that of the previous year; but the progress of improvement and the increased amount of land sown justify us in fixing the increase of wheat as we have done.

The earlier notices of the appearance of the wheat crop in Pennsylvania, which we have been able to collect, are not so extended or varied as in the case of Ohio and New York. We will mention a few of the most prominent. In May, speaking of the promise of this crop in Chester county, it is said that there “is a prospect of a heavy crop of wheat." In another account it is stated that, in east Pennsylvania, there was considerable injury done by the fly.

About the middle of June the crop of wheat in Berks county is described as being a "fair one,” “ but not so abundant as was before expected." In Bucks county, under the same date, the fields are said to have been full of promise; but the fly appeared, and became most destructive." One person says, that, where he expected to gather 1,200 to 1,300 bushels," he could not now hope for 300.” In the vicinity of Sunbury the wheat is said to be fine. The fly is not unfrequently mentioned during the movih of June, but it appears to have been confined in its injurious ravages to particular sections; and it was thought that there would be " a full average crop" in Pennsylvania," and perhaps more.”

Later, in the last week of July, the crop in the southwestern part of the State, in the vicinity of Union, is described as “not equal to the expectations of farmers, there was much straw, but the grain proved to be small, and it was a good deal struck by rust."

The wheat crop of Beaver county is stated, in a public paper, early iri July, 1o be “of a most promising aspect." In Germantown a new enemy is noticed-—"a small, dark, gly worm, three-fourths of an inch long, which crawls up the stalk, and devoirs the leaves.". Later still, in Adams and York counties, "the crop,” it is stated, “is an average one," and was “ well secured,” thongh in some parts of this State it is "badly shrunk.”

From other sources of informacion, also, we learn that the results of the harvest varied in different sections of the State. Thus, the crop in Erie and some of the northern counties is thought to have been 25 per cent. better than that of 1843, as it was a fine growth, and was well gathered. In Beaver and Washingion counties, in the western section, towards the souih, we are told that “ the crop is less than an average one, as it was much destroyed by the fly.” A similar estimate is given with respect to the counties of Union, Greene, and Fayette, in the south west corner of the State.“ Many fields were not harvested, being too light and shrivelled to be worth cutting; but few fields of merchantable wheat-i. e., which will weigh 60 pounds per bushel ; some 50, 54, 58," &c. Some specimens of the Mediterranean wheat are mentioned as the best in that vicinity," which weigh 65 pounds to the bushel.” In Armstrong county, as appears from the reports of the commissioners of that county, the assessment list shows 192,000 bushels, and the crop is supposed to have been lessened 10 per cene on

1

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »